Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo says the State Capture hearing will start in August. Briefing the media on Thursday afternoon, Zondo says the legal team has started contacting the potential witnesses and hope to start with interviews soon.
“We are planning to have the first hearing in August, and we have identified the first witnesses.” However, he says the name of the witnesses will be kept confidential.
Zondo says they are currently involved in finalising working agreements with investigators, witnesses, as well as seeking records from implicated entities.
The briefing offered Zondo the opportunity to give progress made by the team of investigators. He says they have met with government departments to ensure that they cooperate with investigations, “we have received full cooperation from Parliament.” Some of the departments they have engaged with already include the Department of Justice, Treasury and Public Enterprises.
Zondo highlighted that Terence Nombembe and his team of investigators have laid the foundation and estimates to finish with the inquiry in almost two years.
Last month the Judicial Commission of Inquiry dismissed a claim by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) to have the inquiry’s head of investigations, Terence Nombembe, removed.
However, Zondo, said in a statement “no proper basis for the EFF’s objection to Mr Nombembe’s appointment and the objection is dismissed.” In March, EFF leader Julius Malema told a press conference that “the party had an intention to call Nombembe to the commission.”
The statement said Nombembe had allowed the organisation to accept a donation of R1.2 million from Trillian Capital in 2017.
Trillian Capital has been linked to the infamous Gupta family who will likely play a central role in the inquiry, including their relationship with former president Jacob Zuma.
“By the time SAICA received the donation, it was…public knowledge that Trillian Capital was used as a corruption vehicle by the Gupta criminal syndicate,” said Malema.
Malema accused Nombembe of being conflicted. However, Zondo said there was no evidence presented by the EFF that Nombembe or SAICA were aware of “improper conduct by any of its members but [had] failed to act”.